Posts tagged ‘India’

February 12, 2013

Ginger Essential Oil

Ginger is a perennial reed-like plant with annual foliage that can reach 3-4 feet and grows in hot climates. Clusters of white and pink buds bloom into white flowers.

Ginger is one of the five noble spices along with cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and black pepper, and has a long history of medicinal and culinary use.

 The rhizomes are the fleshy roots used in cooking, pickling, beverages and medicine.

Ginger essential oil is the best natural remedy for motion sickness and nausea. It is also  a great remedy for colds, fatigue and poor circulation.

The CO2 extraction has more constituents that make it hotter than the steam distilled oils and shouldn’t be used in the bath.

It is a hot stimulant and exercise caution.

COMMON NAME GINGER
Latin Name Zingiber officinale
Family Zingiberaceae
Country of Origin Native to Asia, China, West Indies, India, Jamaica,
Volatility Base note
Extraction Steam distilled or CO2 extraction of rhizomes (roots)
Colour pale green yellow, darkens with age
Aroma warm, spicy, sweet, pungent
Caution Contraindications May irritate skin, very warming. Do not put CO2 extraction into a bath or take internally, it is very HOT.
Primary Uses Digestion: stimulates appetite, relieves cramps, indigestion, ulcers, constipation/diarrhoea, liver congestion, motion/travel sickness, nausea, heartburn, gas

 

Circulation: warming, stimulating,

 

Cardiovascular: regulates blood pressure,

 

Respiratory  Immune: fever, flu, colds,

arthritis, fatigue

 

Properties Antiemetic, anticonvulsant, antifungal, antihepatotoxic, anti-inflammatory, antirheumatic, antispasmodic (digestive) appetite stimulant, blood pressure normaliser, cardiac, warming carminative, cholagogue, circulatory stimulant, diaphoretic, stimulating expectorant, febrifuge, immune stimulant, nervine, pancreatic, rubefacient, stomachic, neural peripheral vasodilator, hot stimulant,
Constituents  

Monoterpene alcohols: >.5% gingerol, gingerone, zingebernol,

 

Sesquiterpene: 50%  camphene, bisabolene,

 

 

Sesquiterpene alcohols:

 

Monoterpenes: zingiberene 20-30% B-pinene, limonene, phellandrene,

 

January 7, 2013

Basil Essential Oil

There are many flavours of basil and it comes in purple or green varieties. There are many chemotypes of basil, depending on where it is grown, the chemical constituents are different, but they are all used the same way. In India it is called Holy basil.

basil doc (2)

Basil  is a nerve tonic relieving mental fatigue while sharpening the senses, it gives the mind clarity and focus for concentration. The clarifying effects are like rosemary, and it is good to use with rosemary for headaches along with lavender and peppermint. The antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties of basil treat digestive and respiratory conditions.

COMMON NAME BASIL
Latin Name Ocimum basilicum
Family Lamiaceae
Country of Origin Europe, Asia, Middle East, North America
Volatility Top note
Extraction Steam distilled from leaves
Colour colourless, pale amber
Aroma liquorice, sweet,
Caution Contraindications Do not use during pregnancy. May cause skin irritation.
Primary Uses Digestion: digestive upset, gas, bloating, inflammation, liver congestionRespiratory: sinus, flu, congestion, coughs, colds,Nervous: Stress, fatigue, mental, physical.Head: headaches, earache(external use only), migraines

Used as insect repellent and for treating insect stings and bites.

 

Properties Anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, anticatarrhal, antiseptic, antispasmodic, carminative, cephalic, digestive, expectorant, emmenagogue, relaxant, stimulating/relaxing nervine, hepatic, stimulant, warming, tonic
Constituents Methyl ester: methyl cinnamate,Monoterpene alcohols: linalool, geraniol, Oxide: cineoleSesquiterpenes: caryophyllene, terpinolene,Phenol: methyl chavicol-40-50%

Phenylpropanoids: eugenol, trans methyl isoeugenol,

Monoterpenes: pinene, camphor, ocimene, mycrene, terpinolene,

 

March 21, 2012

Turmeric rhizome

A good culinary spice that is amazing at detoxifying, protecting and nourishing the liver is Turmeric rhizome.

Fresh Turmeric rhizome

While most herbs that treat the liver are sour and bitter, turmeric is mild tasting and has a beautiful golden colour that is appealing to the eye. I use it in curry dishes and to colour and flavour rice just like saffron does. In Ayurvedic medicine in India turmeric is used as culinary medicine and as fabric dye, the same way it has been for centuries. It comes from the same family as ginger and looks like a ginger rhizome, but it is more golden orange in colour. 

Fresh Turmeric used to dye fabric

 

Common Name  Turmeric rhizomes
Latin Name  Curcuma longa
Family Zingiberaceae
Parts Used Perennial – rhizome
Target Organs Digestion, liver, gallbladder, cardiovascular, immune, circulatory
Common Uses Nutritive antioxidant

Digestive:  IBD, diarrhea, worms, colic, indigestion

Liver: detoxify, cleanses, protects the liver. Good for all liver conditions.

Lowers bad cholesterol

A good supportive detoxifying nutritive for inhibiting tumours and skin conditions,

A natural fabric dye

Properties Antiallergenic, antibacterial, anticatarrhal, antihepatotoxic, anti-inflammatory, antineoplastic, antioxidant, antiprotozoal, antithrombotic, carminative, cholagogue, choleretic, circulatory stimulant, digestive stimulant, emmenagogue, hepatic, hypolipidemic, hypotensive, immune stimulant
Constituents Curcumin, fiber, manganese, iron, potassium Vitamin B6,
Cautions mild remedy
Dosage Tincture: 1-4ml

Tea: 1-2 tsp infuse 10-15 minutes

Fresh or powdered spice used in cuisine

 

March 21, 2012

Herbs for the Liver and Gallbladder

Spring is here like a breath of much-needed fresh air!

stigma

Because Spring falls under the wood element in the Chinese Five Elements and rules the liver and gallbladder it is a good time to do a liver cleanse (especially after St. Patrick’s Day for those that imbibe.) There are many herbs that cleanse, detoxify, protect, nourish and regenerate the liver. 

The liver is a metabolism center that neutralizes toxins, synthesizes proteins, and stores glycogen (starch) and changes it back into glucose (sugar) and releases it when needed. The gallbladder stores bile for the liver to excrete.

The liver gets stimulated by sour taste that is why lemon, lime or citrus in water helps to detoxify. Bitter sour herbs stimulate the liver, gallbladder, glands and digestion.

Sour action decongests, tightens, stimulates and is astringent.

Fresh Turmeric rhizome

Fresh Turmeric rhizome

Herbal Therapeutic Properties that treat the Liver and Gallbladder are Hepatics, Cholagogues and Depuratives.

Hepatics are liver tonics that improve liver function and regenerate liver cells. Hepato-protective herbs also called anti-hepatotoxics have specific antioxidant properties that protect the liver.

Cholagogues stimulate bile production and choleretics enhances bile quantity and quality. Stored in the gallbladder, bile helps to digest fats. Improving fat digestion reduces the burden on these organs, therefore preventing gallstones from forming.

Depuratives are also known as Detoxicants because they support detoxification. They are also called Alteratives and are known as blood purifiers.

Turmeric

Turmeric spice dried powder

Herbal Liver Tonics~ Herbs for the Liver and Gallbladder

Hepatic restoratives and nutritives nourish and restore. The high nutrient content is good for fatigue: These herbs make a good nutritious beverage tea drink-

chicory root, nettle herb, alfalfa herb, artichoke leaf,

Hepato-protective /anti-hepatotoxics are herbs that protect and detoxify the liver:

Turmeric rhizome, milk thistle seed, barberry, licorice root, garlic bulb, black/green tea, Astragalus root, ginkgo leaf, hawthorn leaf/flower/fruit, polypore fruiting body/ fungi, North American ginseng root, sage herb, rosemary herb,

Hepato-protective /anti-hepatotoxics 2nd properties:

Burdock roots

Burdock roots

burdock root, wormwood, gentian root, elecampane root, marjoram herb, heal-all herb, centaury

Bitter, cool liver decongestants and cholagogues:

milk thistle seed, wormwood herb, celandine herb, gentian root, centaury root, blessed thistle herb, Oregon grape, yellow dock root, figwort herb, dandelion root, burdock root

General herbs that protect, restore, nourish and detoxify the liver.

Turmeric rhizome, milk thistle seed, wormwood herb,  gentian root, centaury root, blessed thistle herb, barberry, ginger rhizome, garlic bulb, caraway, dill seeds 

Herbs that are good for the liver are usually very bitter and unpleasant tasting like wormwood herb and barberry, but it is important to taste herbs to ensure good therapeutic action.

I like to put bitter herbs in red wine to mellow the flavour.

Macerate your choice of a single herb in red wine for a couple of weeks. Take a teaspoon a day for a couple of weeks or take these herbs in a tincture for a cycle of 2-3 weeks and then take a break for a week before starting any other herbal remedy.  Your liver will thank-you!

Springtime Liver Cleanse:

Top 5 Things to do for a Liver Cleanse

Pick any two to three weeks in springtime to do a liver cleanse. Do any or all of the following:

  1. Put a slice of lemon or lime in your water
  2. Eat more spring greens, green leafy vegetables and natural foods
  3. Add liver tonic herbs to your diet like turmeric dried spice or fresh rhizome
  4. Drink roasted dandelion and chicory root beverage it tastes like coffee
  5. Make a tea, juice, smoothie, tincture or wine with your choice of herbs and plants that benefit the liver and gallbladder
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 5,006 other followers

%d bloggers like this: